In our last blog post about outsourcing your blogging, we gave you several reasons why regular blogging is important to build brand loyalty and connect with customers. Today, we would like to provide you with some statistics courtesy of Get Spokal:
- 46 percent of Internet users read one or more blogs every day
- 61 percent of consumers based in the United States have made a purchasing decision based on information they acquired from reading a blog
- 69 percent of businesses with an online presence report that blogging is their largest source of lead generation
- 77 percent of all Internet users read blogs
- Businesses that blog receive 126 percent more qualified leads than those that don’t blog
These numbers should be enough to convince anyone that putting out high-quality, consistent blog posts is important. The only problem is that you have no idea how to get started and create your first post.
Identify Your Target Audience
This may sound obvious, but many beginning bloggers are so gung-ho that they assume they can write for everyone. Not only is that impossible, but having too broad of an appeal won’t help you stand out as an industry leader. Who are the visitors to your website now? What are they looking for? If you can answer those questions, you’re ready to start solving their problems with your blog posts. If not, just ask them. Send out an email to your opt-in list or invite them to comment on social media telling you exactly what they want.
Research the Competition
Plan to do a lot of research before you ever write your first word. This starts by reading as many blogs in your industry as you can. Don’t forget to read the comments and find out what people liked and didn’t like about the information presented in the blog. Do you see a need that’s not currently being met? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to step in and meet it.
Brainstorming Topic Ideas
Now that you know what is and isn’t out there, it’s time to come up with several ideas of your own. The important thing is not to edit your flow of ideas at first. Give yourself a set amount of time, say 15 or 20 minutes, and write any topic idea that comes to mind. Once you’re done, read your list to see if any topic jumps out at you. Does it speak to your target audience and fill a need for them? Then it’s good to go. Should nothing stand out initially, narrow the potential topic to a list of three and bounce them off one of your associates.
We recommend starting with a platform that’s already familiar to you, such as Microsoft Word. Trying to overcome fear of writing a blog post and familiarize yourself with a new platform may become so overwhelming that you give up. Start by creating an outline of what you want to cover and then fill it in as you go along. A good blog post should have an introduction to grab the reader’s attention, a body to go into more detail, and a conclusion to wrap things up and possibly include a call to action.
Right off the bat, you have to let readers know you’re on their side. Empathize with their situation and tell them what you intend to do to solve it. For example, someone struggling with the symptoms of an undiagnosed health problem will appreciate your understanding that they’re in a tough spot and they need answers as soon as possible.
The body of the blog post should answer the topic of the post plus anything you introduced in the opening paragraphs. Since this is the longest part, be sure to break it up with section headers, bullet points, or boldface type to keep your reader’s attention. Lastly, spend a few sentences summarizing what you have just written about and ask the reader to take some type of action. This could be leaving feedback, requesting a quote, placing an order, or whatever you have determined is the goal of the blog post.
Hire a Freelance Writer from Content Runner Instead
If all this still sounds too intimidating or you just don’t have the time to write blog posts, you have come to the right place. Feel free to browse our writer directory to connect with someone who does this sort of thing for a living. We don’t limit writer and client relationships, so you can seek assistance with topic generation as well. Our staff is happy to make personal recommendations or walk you through the process of setting up your first order.